Don't Sweat Your Cooking Mistakes

Don't beat yourself up over cooking mistakes.

In the Kitchen

Cooking Mistake? Who, Me?

Take heart – the best chefs suffer kitchen catastrophes!

-Joanna Barouch

burnt oven mitDespite your best efforts in the kitchen, sometimes nothing works. This is especially disappointing when you’ve worked hard making the soup, sticking your head in the hot oven to see if the turkey is done, and chopping vegetables for so long your shoulders ache. The soup is sour, the turkey is still pink inside, and those vegetables somehow got overcooked. You ask yourself what went wrong and decide it’s the recipes, but it isn’t always the recipe’s fault. Sometimes even you, fabulous cook that you are, have to blame yourself for your spectacular failures. This really hurts. Take heart, however. The best chefs have had the occasional disaster.

I once attended a cooking demonstration given by a baking expert. He was making a bittersweet chocolate tart and was talking while he was putting it together. When it came out of the oven, we eagerly tucked into this brown beauty. He took one look at our puckered faces, immediately realized what had happened and took our plates away. The pastry maven had forgotten to add the sugar! Moral of the story: Don’t talk while you are making something complicated. I’ve done it myself. The results are not, shall we say, appetizing.

Just to make you feel even better, I’ll tell you my disaster story: I made a cheesecake for a dinner with new friends. I unhooked it from the springform pan, put it on a cake plate and was on the way to the table when it became airborne. In the excitement of the moment I had forgotten to remove the cake from the bottom of the pan. It fell straight up, never touching the carpet, so we decided to sit on the floor and eat it where it landed. Did I impress them? I’ll leave it for you to decide!

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